Shock of the Lightning

This is an English Electric Lightning, and it is the coolest fighter aircraft ever made.

Firstly, because it’s called the English Electric Lightning and secondly, because it was powered by two Rolls-Royce Avon axial-flow jet engines stacked vertically, one atop the other.

Such immense power a gave the Lightning a top speed in excess of Mach 2, making it the only fighter of the time able to catch Concorde, and it is to this day still the only U.K designed and built interceptor to achieve twice the speed of sound.

It was also capable of an exceptional rate of climb, reaching 33,000ft from take-off in under three minutes, with an operational ceiling well in excess of double that – an important ability given its brief to intercept Russian nuclear bombers during the Cold War.

This brilliant Lego recreation of the English Electric Lighting comes from previous bloggee Dread Pirate Wesley, who has constructed a 1:55 F.3 series aircraft as operated by RAF Squadron 56.

This particular Lightning is a preserved surviving example available to see on display, but if you can’t get to RAF Bruntingthorpe you can check out the next best thing via Wesley’s photostream. Click the link above to get to Mach 2 very quickly indeed.

*Today’s title song.

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